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What are the Responsibilities of an MLB Groundskeeper?

In today’s hot sporting world, the responsibilities of an MLB groundskeeper are many. It is here on the field that conditions, after all, can make or break the game for any team or player. Here’s the scoop on the typical duties of an MLB groundskeeper today.

Line-Laying

Line-laying is one of the primary concern areas of an MLB groundskeeper. In each game, the baselines and other markings must be clearly and very accurately placed. This chalking the lines is done through the use of a wide number of tools and measuring systems and utilizes chalk for the actual markings. Line-laying may take place before, during, and after games.

Turf Management

Another primary duty of MLB groundskeepers is that of actual turf management. Turf management includes sod and artificial turf installation and maintenance, moisture control and drainage systems, leveling, aeration, topdressing, fertilization and other chemical applications, and so much more. Many sports complexes play host to several sports aside from baseball including soccer and football. When these switches take place, turf, markings, and much more must be reformatted from the previous event to the coming event, giving grounds-keeping crews plenty to do.

Weather-Watch and Response

Weather is yet another wildcard that groundskeepers and their assistive staff must constantly watch for and handle. Weather conditions play a major role in field conditions, but groundskeepers have many tricks with which to combat the negative effects brought on by that weather. When possible, groundskeepers stay ahead of the weather and adjust field elements and tasks to best work with the oncoming weather. In many other cases, however, groundskeepers are stuck on the reactive end of weather and then must take certain actions as the weather occurs or even after. Tarping and sweeping fields in cases of heavy rainfall events are some of those weather-battling methods we’ve all seen.

Various, Other Duties

While the three duties mentioned above are typically the prime responsibilities of an MLB groundskeeper, there truly is much more to the job workers must stay on top of. All of the chemicals used on the job must properly be categorized, stored, labeled, and otherwise periodically managed to the satisfaction of many regulations. Equipment maintenance must be continually performed to keep the various machines and tools of the trade in good working order. Safety matters must also be constantly looked after in all things.

Work associated with complete field redesigns and stadium renovations also confronts groundskeepers from time to time. For example, the Houston Astros recently redesigned their Minute Maid Park Stadium including field redesigns and the removal of the old field’s famous, inclined area, Tal’s Hill. This gave their grounds-keeping crew a whole new area of work and a new ballpark to adjust to. Add in staff meetings, researching the newest methods and technologies, inventory and part supply management, vendor associations, and you have a full day of work.

Related Resource: Top 10 PhD Programs in Sports Management

For those wishing to potentially work as an MLB groundskeeper today, the duty levels are high, but the rewards offered are great. Great pay, inside and outside work environs, access to a sports complex and the events therein that is unmatched, ample benefits, and much more await the dedicated pro here. These are the responsibilities of an MLB groundskeeper and the basic outline of their job today.